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Xbox 360 Review

At an MTV televised unveiling of Xbox 360, Microsoft has finally confirmed the rumors that game fanatics have been talking about.

Available this holiday season in Europe, Japan, and North America, the Xbox 360 is now smaller and smarter-looking than its predecessor, and the front panel can be customized by interchangeable faceplates.

Similar to the PS3, the Xbox 360 has an IBM PowerPC-based CPU running at 3.2GHz and half a gigabyte of RAM. The Xbox 360 also boasts of a customized ATI graphics processor as Microsoft claims that every 360 game is optimized for a minimum of 720p high definition output with anti-aliasing, allowing gamers to experience smooth and cinematic-like gaming.

With a free level of Xbox Live service (Silver and Gold tiers), players can share their Gamer Profile, send and receive text and voice messages to friends, as well as engage in Xbox Live voice chat. Also a major upside is the Xbox Live Marketplace, an online launch platform to download demos and trailers, new game levels, maps, weapons, vehicles, and skins. Additionally, with built in Windows Media Center Extender functionality, Xbox 360 players can access recorded TV and digital movies, music, video and photos stored on Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based PCs.

Nevertheless, while Sony's Playstation 3 already boasts of next-generation Blu-ray discs, the Xbox 360 still employs DVD formatting. There is no clear confirmation as to bundling details and pricing, so we have yet to find out if the detachable 20GB hard drive will be included with all Xbox 360s or be available only as an upgrade.

Xbox 360 System Performance Specifications
Custom IBM PowerPC-based CPU
  • Three symmetrical cores running at 3.2 GHz each
  • Two hardware threads per core; six hardware threads total
  • VMX-128 vector unit per core; three total
  • 128 VMX-128 registers per hardware thread
  • 1 MB L2 cache
CPU Game Math Performance
  • 9 billion dot product operations per second
Custom ATI Graphics Processor
  • 10 MB of embedded DRAM
  • 48-way parallel floating-point dynamically scheduled shader pipelines
  • Unified shader architecture
Polygon Performance
  • 500 million triangles per second
Pixel Fill Rate
  • 16 gigasamples per second fill rate using 4x MSAA
Shader Performance
  • 48 billion shader operations per second
  • 512 MB of 700 MHz GDDR3 RAM
  • Unified memory architecture
Memory Bandwidth
  • 22.4 GB/s memory interface bus bandwidth
  • 256 GB/s memory bandwidth to EDRAM
  • 21.6 GB/s front-side bus
Overall System Floating-Point Performance
  • 1 teraflop
  • Detachable and upgradeable 20GB hard drive
  • 12x dual-layer DVD-ROM
  • Memory Unit support starting at 64 MB
  • Support for up to four wireless game controllers
  • Three USB 2.0 ports
  • Two memory unit slots
Optimized for Online
  • Instant, out-of-the-box access to Xbox Live features with broadband service, including Xbox Live Marketplace for downloadable content, gamer profile for digital identity, and voice chat to talk to friends while playing games, watching movies, or listening to music
  • Built-in Ethernet port
  • Wi-Fi ready: 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g
  • Video camera ready
Digital Media Support
  • Support for DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, JPEG Photo CD
  • Ability to stream media from portable music devices, digital cameras and Windows XP-based PCs
  • Ability to rip music to the Xbox 360 hard drive
  • Custom playlists in every game
  • Built-in Media Center Extender for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
  • Interactive, full-screen 3-D visualizers
High-Definition Game Support
  • All games supported at 16:9, 720p, and 1080i, anti-aliasing
  • Standard-definition and high-definition video output supported
  • Multi-channel surround sound output
  • Supports 48KHz 16-bit audio
  • 320 independent decompression channels
  • 32-bit audio processing
  • Over 256 audio channels
Physical Specs
  • Height: 83 mm
  • Width: 309 mm
  • Depth: 258 mm
  • Weight: 7.7 lbs.
System Orientation
  • Stands vertically or horizontally
Customizable Face Plates
  • Interchangeable to personalize the console
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